The Better Living Building will dramatize
all the major aspects of our daily lives under one roof. Situated
on a three-and-one-half acre plot, the three-story pavilion will
be the largest in the Industrial Area, Architects, John La Pinto
& Associates. Contractor, Thompson-Starrett Construction Co.,
Brochure, The Better Living Building
Following is a transcription
of remarks made by Better Living Building and World's Fair officials
at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Better Living Building,
New York World's Fair, February 13, 1963.
DOUGLAS LAPHAM, [Vice President
for the Better Living Building]: Mr. Stone, distinguished guests.
Welcome to the groundbreaking ceremony for the beginning of the
construction of the Better Living Building. I would first like
to introduce the head of the Industrial Section of the Fair,
Mr. Martin Stone.
MARTIN STONE.: I want to welcome
all of you here to the site of the Fair. As you can see, a great
deal of construction is going on, and a good deal more will be
seen through the following months. We are particularly delighted
to have you here for the occasion of the Better Living Building
groundbreaking. We have seen the blood and the sweat and the
tears that have gone into this moment, and we are delighted to
see it happen. Thank you.
DOUGLAS LAPHAM: Thank you Martin.
Just before our ceremony, I would like to call attention to some
of the distinguished visitors who are here with us today. Mr.
George Spargo, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority; Mr. Ed
Cunningham, of the Grocery Manufacturers of America; Mr. Munro
Gill of Mohasco Industries; Stan Finch of the Gas Pavilion, who
is one of our neighboring exhibitors in this area. Mrs. Dorothy
Draper is on the platform with us. Mrs. Draper is designing a
Dream Home in the building. Mr. F.M. Sloan, vice-president of
Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Mr. John Lo Pinto, architect
for the Better Living Building. Mr. Van Raalte, chairman of the
board of Thompson-Starrett Company, the contractor for the building.
Mr. Gary Pizzarelli, president of Dorthy Draper's enterprises.
Mr. W.W. Paddon who is president of Sunshine Biscuits, one of
our exhibitors in the building.
Mr. John W. Red, Jr., executive
vice-president of the Canada Dry Corporation is also on the platform
with us. Mr. William Ewen of the Borden Company. Mr. Whitford
Mays, president of Morgan-Jones Company. And finally, Mr. William
Berns, vice-president for Fair Communications and Public Relations.
And now I am going to ask Mr.
Martins Stone to step before the microphone again to present
the plaque on the beginning of the building. Mr. Stone.
MARTIN STONE.: I am sorry that
Mr. Moses could not be here for this occasion but in his stead,
I have the privilege of presenting this medallion to Edward Burdick,
here in behalf of the Better Living Building. I think it is particularly
appropriate that a medal be struck for Ed Burdick. No one has
shown more faith, more confidence, or more integrity than Ed
Burdick, and in behalf of the New York World's Fair I am delighted
to present him with this official medallion of the Fair.
Elsie, the Borden Cow, and her keeper, supervising, Edward Burdick
pushes a plunger which blasted for the start of construction on
the Better Living Building. Watching are (left to right) William
Ewen, director of advertising for Borden; Martin Stone, director
of the Fair's Industrial Section; J.P. Van Raalte, chairman of
the board for Thompson-Starrett Construction Co., Inc.
EDWARD BURDICK.: Mr. Stone, officials
of the World's Fair Corporation, distinguished guests and exhibitors,
members of the press: Thank you all for coming. I had written
"under these adverse weather conditions." I changed
it to "under this beautiful sun" and now I will add
"under this rather bad wind."
I accept this World's Fair plaque
as a tribute to our exhibitors who have materially expressed
their confidence in our undertaking, and to our staff who have
worked so tirelessly over a period of two years to make this
occasion possible. As many people have said, it has not been
easy. I don't think anything in life that is worthwhile is easy.
We have had the specific problem of on the one hand, to get exhibitors
without a building; and on the other, to get a building without
exhibitors. So it's been a rather interesting situation.
Seneca, the ancient Roman philosopher,
said "Life is a gift of the immortal gods, but living well
is the gift of philosophy." To substantiate Seneca's thinking,
we today are breaking ground and starting actual construction
of the Better Living Building. In this building we will present
to our exhibitors not a trade show, not a county fair with rows
of Aunt Matilda's pickles, the latest antimacassars or the local
strong man exhibition -- but a pre-planned, coordinated free
flow of series of major exhibits, visually showing the present
and future keys to a productive and satisfying life.
Exhibits in our building will
include not only the home, its planning, construction and furnishing,
but also stress the cultivation of the mind, the spirit, and
our physical well-being through proper food, and beverage, exercise,
entertainment and leisure time activity. Of importance in our
presentation of better living will be the outside influences,
materials and sources upon which our contemporary civilization
Coordinated exhibits by individuals
and group interests, each keyed to an overall explanatory theme,
will explain the general fields of health, outdoor living, fashion,
youth activities, recreation, security, sports and science as
well as the machines and equipment in our workaday world that
directly and indirectly contribute to a better way of life. Ten
feature areas are planned at present and are under various phases
- 1) A special major area within
the building to be known as the Grocery Manufacturers of America
Pavilion, presenting a cooperative exhibit, tying in with the
GMA theme -- Life Line of America -- Food from Farm to Table.
- 2) A major location featuring
the resources council of the AID, and their sponsorship of a
coordinated bevy of room settings, product displays and material
exhibition of the finest available in home furnishings.
- 3) A coordinated exhibition
showing how industry serves youth, and a special area devoted
to youth activities.
- 4) A specially designed, completely
equipped and furnished home by Dorthy Draper, the internationally
famous designer and interior decorator, showing her concept of
a 1964-plus dream home.
- 5) A world of jewelry exhibition,
featuring precious gems and rare metals.
- 6) A toy and hobby pavilion,
showing not only the
the groundbreaking ceremonies: Martin Stone, director of the Fair's
Industrial Section; Mrs. Dorothy Draper, designer of a Dream Home
that will be featured in the Better Living Building; Edward Burdick,
president of Edward H. Burdick Associates, Inc., sponsors for
the Better Living Building, who accepted the official Fair medallion.
- use but the methods of manufacture
in a thematic setting.
- 7) An unusual and exciting crystal
palace of fashion, featuring a coordinated series of daily style
shows and exhibits of good grooming.
- 8) An enclosed high fidelity
salon, demonstrating the finest in music and sound.
- 9) A feature area with audience
participation covering outdoor living and sports of all seasons.
- And 10) a special area -- Man's
Health and His World, combining medical, pharmaceutical and health
The Better Living building will
contain 4,000,000 cu. ft. of air-conditioned space. Right now
we are not worried about air conditioning, are we? Comprising
the largest edifice now planned in the Industrial Area of the
Fair, the eighty-foot high structure will be faced with translucent
plastic, allowing the entire building to glow like a jewel at
night. Access to six levels of exhibits will be by electric escalators
to the top floor, and to the lower floors by ramp.
We who have been so closely associated
with this project over the past three years, and in my case through
experience in the preceding six World's Fairs, feel confident
that our building will be a must stop on the agenda of all 70,000,000
Fair visitors. Our reasoning is based upon the great diversity
of human interest exhibits that will attract and hold the attention
of men, women and children of all ages, and of all interests
Finally let me say we are proud
to be an important part of what should be the greatest World's
Fair in history, and proud to play our role in its theme "Peace
through Understanding." And now the actual ceremony, placing
the structural aspects of this exciting building in the very
capable hands of our architect, Mr. John Lo Pinto, and our builders,
Thompson-Starrett. Thank you.
DOUGLAS LAPHAM: And now to the
actual groundbreaking ceremony. We are going to have a groundbreaking
featuring this famous lady who is in front of us here, Borden's
Elsie, and at this moment if Mr. Van Raalte, Mr. Stone and Mr.
Burdick would go down in front of the platform, we'll have the
first groundbreaking ceremony after which we would like Mrs.
Draper and Mr. Sloan of Westinghouse, to be pictured, then we
would like the Canada Dry representatives to be pictured; and
finally, we would like the Sunshine people to be pictured. We
will thus have all of these very famous personalities involved
in the groundbreaking.
If you will stand aside from
that portion of the ground where the switch is located, Elsie
will officially supervise setting off the blast to begin building.